I am still on my quest to make life happier and better for myself and for my family. I am still making progress too! I am slowly clearing out the b*llsh*t and making my life my own again. I am actually seeing progress. It will still be likely through April or May for me to reach the point I am aiming for in ridding myself of b*llsh*t, but I can already feel some of the horrible, oppressive weight on the yoke on my shoulders starting to lessen. I am so very hopeful that I am going to continue to have success in this way.
I have been saying (sometimes here, but mostly in my own head) for the past three or so years that "I miss who I used to be." Part of me thought it was simply me growing older, having loved ones die, and all the normal day-to-day things. But, it has taken me concerted thought to finally realize the following:
1. Yes, I am getting older (duh).
2. Yes, there is pain and sadness in losing people you love.
3. Yes, there are always and will always be normal day-to-day frustrations.
4. All those (above three) things are NORMAL and ARE things I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO HANDLE as well as anyone handles those things.
5. Those three items ARE NOT the major cause of my feeling so very, very low. Those first three issues do occasionally give me pause and may make me feel a bit sad or melancholy but not in an unrelenting way.
6. What has been making me feel the horrid ways I have been feeling *ARE* all the b*llsh*t tasks I have acquired (accepted?) that have been pure scutt work FOR OTHERS... and basically has allowed for an endless gripefest from a whole cadre of polarized nasty people at the U who do not know the meaning of compromise nor of academic congeniality.
7. I slowly began to realize how without meaning to, I fell into this quicksand-like trap of obnoxious, annoying, unrewarding, nerve degerating, happiness destroying, research reducing, teaching obliterating, SCUTT B*LLSH*T and IT WILL STOP!
8. Getting myself out of this quicksand is my number two priority right after making sure I show more love and devotion to my family.
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With all my talk about b*llsh*t, you may be wondering why the hell do I have 1167 as the title of my essay today? Well, I have not updated you on this facet of my life in a while, but today is the 1167th day in a row where I have walked about 5 miles outside each and every day in a row without missing a day. Being sub-freezing now, I am in long underwear and sweat pants and sweat shirts on my early morning (5:00am) walk. Also, because of the snow, slush, and ice, I am wearing heavy winter boots as well. But it is a wonderful way to wake up in the morning.
I am also getting some new patterns for myself in the U gym that I have been visiting prior to getting to my lab and office each morning. I am now lifting weights to tone my upper body (I have been doing this, but had a 5 week refrain because the U dismantled the old equipment and it took 5 weeks to get the new stuff in and set up), but also I am now running (moderate jogging) a 1/2 mile each weekday INSIDE on the U track. I am doing this because it is not safe for me to jog outside with the potential for ice on the roads and sidewalks at this time of year. And, additionally, the U gym has acquired a handful of exercise "bikes" for your arms. These are actually resistance devices that look just like a stationary bike, but instead of pedaling with your legs, you pedal with your arms. I have been doing 2 miles a day on these machines and hope to work up to 4 or 5 miles a day for this equipment.
So, the image at the top of this essay is the only image I could find that had 1167 in it, so I used it. It looks like antique lamp shades of the sort that might find their way to Antiques Roadshow.